Jose Mourinho is glad Manchester City were killed off in the Champions League group of death - because if it had been him, he would not have been allowed back into Madrid.
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Real's 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium confirmed the Spanish giants will accompany Borussia Dortmund into the last 16.
In contrast, City face a tough battle just to make the Europa League after collecting only three points from their first five matches.
Yet despite an enormous outlay on players, bankrolled by owner Sheikh Mansour, it is not thought manager Roberto Mancini is under threat, which is hardly the reaction Mourinho would expect if he failed on a similar scale.
"I admire the fact that clubs support their manager," said Mourinho.
"City is out of Champions League. But Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund are very good teams and we knew a big team would be out.
"It is good that it was City because Roberto can work without any kind of problem I believe.
"If it was Real Madrid, the press wouldn't let me return to Madrid."
Indeed, Mancini rejected outright the notion that Sheikh Mansour would deliver a harsh judgment on two seasons of European failure.
"No. I don't fear this," said the Italian. "Why?
"We still have the Premier League and the FA Cup.
"If we think we can win the Champions League after two years we are crazy."
Mancini's reasoning is that City require more experience at this level before they can truly compete for the greatest prize.
"Chelsea tried to win Champions League for 10 years," he said.
"In the best moments, when Didier Drogba was young, they didn't win.
"They did it last year when no-one thought they could.
"We need to improve our team because there are a lot of teams better than us.
"I am not saying if you get to February you can't win. Anything can happen. But we didn't do that."
City did well to salvage a point given the pummelling they took in the opening stages.
Karim Benzema put the visitors ahead after more catastrophic City defending and Cristiano Ronaldo only failed to double the advantage because he underhit a lob over Joe Hart, allowing Matija Nastasic to clear off the line.
Sami Khedira also failed to profit from two gilt-edged chances provided by Ronaldo, allowing City to scrap their way back into the contest.
Still there was an element of good fortune about their equaliser, with Alvaro Arbeloa harshly judged to have fouled Sergio Aguero, resulting in a red card for the former Liverpool man, who had already been booked, and a penalty for City, which the Argentina forward clinically dispatched.
It was not enough though, with Mourinho indicating his side played out the final minutes with some degree of comfort.
"At 1-1, with 10 v 11 City had thousands of attacking options," said Mourinho.
"Tevez, Nasri, Aguero, Dzeko. They had limitless options.
"We just had 10 men. But we managed to hold on. We resisted. We knew how to control the game. The main thing is we qualified. Mission accomplished.
"You can't play to win when it is 10 v 11. We just played to draw the game and we carried out our objective."
Being Mourinho though, he could not resist a barb at his opponent, who will now be under additional pressure to retain the Premier League.
He said: "It is incredible, when you look at the array of players at their disposal, they have been eliminated from the group stages two years running."
Joe Hart said Manchester City only had themselves to blame.
"We're very disappointed. We've had a few opportunities in this group when we could have done a lot better," England goalkeeper Hart told Sky Sports 2.
"All the games have cost us. We've lost our two away games and not won at home.
"We led in Amsterdam and led in Madrid. It's been a disappointing campaign.
"We've surprised ourselves in a very, very bad way in this competition."